Michael Fremer

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Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 28, 2003 0 comments

The relatively small German company Audio Physic has had remarkable success among audiophiles worldwide with its line of mostly slim, relatively expensive, high-performance speakers. For two decades now, music lovers have responded to the brand's fast, detailed sound—a sound that places a premium on re-creating a musical event along with the music itself. Audio Physic speakers are best known for pulling a sonic disappearing act by producing holographic, 3-dimensional images and dramatic 2-channel soundstages, but communicating music's emotional content has always been paramount to founder and chief designer Joachim Gerhard. In my opinion, he's succeeded: My current reference speakers are Audio Physic Avanti IIIs; before that, I owned a pair of the original Virgos.

Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 01, 2001 0 comments

I hear you muttering already: "Just what the world needs—an $8500 DVD player."

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 26, 2002 0 comments

A company with B&W's resources, experience, and technical know-how can pretty much build what it wants. What B&W chose to do in the CM Series is blend good looks, high build quality, and typically rich "British sound" into an affordable package—something easier said than done.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jan 08, 2003 0 comments

The late electronics wizard Henry Kloss, founder of Advent and co-founder of Acoustic Research and KLH, devised the concept of the high-performance compact radio back in the 1960s, and he invented timeless products to back up that innovative idea: His classic KLH Model 8 tabletop radio is still sought after, still sounds great, and fetches $500 and up on Internet auction sites. Cambridge SoundWorks, established by Kloss in 1988 and later sold to Creative Technology Ltd., began as a direct marketer of innovative, inexpensive, overachieving radios and powered multimedia speaker systems.

Michael Fremer Posted: May 11, 2001 0 comments

I remember a Toshiba press conference at which two new DVD players were introduced whose prices were only $50 apart. That's how tight things are in the mainstream marketplace, where niches are filled by price and by features far more often than they are by performance, or by what an individual might like to see brought to market "just because."

Michael Fremer Posted: Apr 12, 2010 0 comments

Cinema 11a Surround Processor
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Model 7.125 Amplifier
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Price: $8,000 At A Glance: Minimal video-switching capabilities • Maximum sound quality • Amplifier made in America

Core Audiophile Values

During the last decade or so, specialty audio manufacturers have seen the marriage of home theater and high-performance audio become contentious at best and life threatening at worst. These days, companies have fewer financial resources and longer R&D lead times. Relatively small audiophile-oriented companies that sought the A/V path have been overwhelmed. Sometimes, fast-moving, shelf-life-shortening developments­—such as the adaptation of new audio and video formats—have burned these companies outright.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 25, 2008 0 comments

Performance
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Denon redefines the surround receiver.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 29, 2001 0 comments

"The world's most advanced Home Theater Receiver" is Denon's claim for the AVR-5800, and, now that I've spent a few months with it, they'll get no arguments from me. It's the world's first 7.1-channel receiver with DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, DTS-ES Matrix 6.1, DTS Neo:6, THX surround EX, Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby Pro Logic. It's like one of those new cruise ships that more closely resembles a floating city. What Denon has managed to pack into its large, sleek, heavy black hull (at 62 lbs, it's the most massive I've seen) is remarkable in terms of both versatility and performance. Denon's marketing manager, David Birch-Jones, proclaims the AVR-5800 to be "Without question the finest A/V receiver ever created." But are "most advanced" and "finest" necessarily the same thing? We'll have to dig deeper to find out.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 05, 2003 0 comments

"What's possibly left to add to an A/V receiver?" industry observers and reviewers ask at the end of each new product cycle. But always, by the time the replacement model has been introduced, manufacturers have found plenty to tack on. Only owners of last year's "state-of-the-art" A/V receivers can say how worthwhile are these additions, refinements, and upgrades.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 25, 2007 0 comments

At its Summer 2007 press conference today, Denon Electronics (a division of D&M Holdings) announced an all new line of A/V Receivers and its first entry into next-gen HD with an exciting new Blu-ray Disc player.

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